The RICS is now offering a certification in information management for Level 2 BIM, but other professions may want to get involved too
The RICS is out in front of the other professions in providing an accreditation for the role of information manager for Level 2 BIM. It offers the certification to members of all disciplines, to avoid creating divisions or competition in the area. It’s open to anyone with over five year’s post-qualification experience and at least 12 months practical BIM involvement.
Suitable candidates will be able to set up the team arrangements required, manage the information handling process and be able to support team integration and collaborative working. They may also have chosen to gain necessary expertise in the technology side of BIM or the commercial and contract side. The RICS doesn’t provide the necessary training but rather assesses the candidate who will have built up expertise in many ways. Recertification is expected every three years, with a CPD regime to ensure continuing competence in a rapidly maturing field.
The need for information management is vastly increased and surveyors see themselves as more suitable for this role than either the architect or engineers
This qualification is still, however, a bid for the chartered surveyor to become a more central player in the project team. While 5D BIM might be seen as a threat to the QS workload, the need for information management is vastly increased and surveyors see themselves as more suitable for this role than either the architect or engineers. After all, information handling is a surveyor’s stock in trade. They manipulate it rather than inventing it as designers do. It’s a dimension of project management too, a field populated substantially by surveyors.
Where doubts arise in my mind is over the technology dimension. CAD managers are the forerunners of the BIM information manager role in many ways. The information manager is expected to provide the common data environment to the team and be the coach and troubleshooter for team members using it. The surveyor manager may be fine at ensuring that decisions flow through the PAS 1192-2 process but what about the technological support side? Architects and engineers have traditionally moved into that. Is it closer to a design management role than a QS role?
Is the role too wide for one discipline? Will many firms use multi-skill teams to cover it?
Full marks to RICS for taking the initiative. But let’s watch the uptake and the upshot to see if this is the best model for quality assured information and IT management.
Richard Saxon is a client adviser at Consultancy for the Built Environment and the author of ‘Growth through BIM’